December 06, 2012

By MARK KENNEDY Associated Press

 

Michael Strahan has tackled something few football stars have attempted — Broadway.

The gap-toothed co-host of “Live with Kelly and Michael” made three short appearances at Wednesday's matinee of “Elf” and said he has new respect for Broadway performers.

“I was surprised at how nervous you get and the adrenaline and that feedback from the audience — it really was an amazing thing,” the former football player said after the show. “To see these performers who do it every day — eight or nine times a week — is really amazing. I take my hat off to them.”

Fans can see a behind-the-scenes recap on Thursday’s TV show.

The musical is adapted from the Will Ferrell film from 2003 about Buddy, a human raised in the North Pole who travels to New York in search of his parents.

Strahan thought making his Broadway debut would be fun and represented a new experience for a guy who holds the single season sack record. He found himself more nervous than he has been for high-stakes football games or live TV.

“It’s a little nerve-wracking because so many people depend on you, you want to get your line across and you have to play to the crowd. It’s a lot more intricate with everyone hitting their marks. You don’t want to be the guy that messes everyone up,” he said.

Strahan, 41, played both a police officer and a Salvation Army Santa in the first act and later came on as himself in a scene with the real Santa in the second act. As he waited in the wings of the Al Hirschfeld Theatre, he saw the toll the musical takes on its dancers.

“Some of these performers are breathing as if they just went into a football game and played a 12-play drive,” he joked. “I was tired walking up and down from my dressing room.”

Strahan rehearsed for an hour in the morning with stage managers and associate director Casey Hushion. At 1 p.m., some in the cast came in early to work with him, including Jordan Gelber, who plays Buddy, and Beth Leavel, who plays Buddy’s stepmother.

The audience was quiet when Strahan first appeared as an officer with another cop after Buddy gets kicked out of Macy’s. But the seven-time Pro-Bowler and Super Bowl winner flashed his trademark smile and they went wild. More applause greeted him after he played a Salvation Army Santa as he and Buddy wrestled over the kettle bells.

In the second act, he waited to ask Santa for a present. Santa asked him his name, the newly minted actor said “Michael Strahan” and he then asked for a red Schwinn bicycle with a bell shaped like Miss Piggy. The crowd cheered when Strahan identified himself and he got another wide round of applause at the curtain call, where the cast gave him flowers.

Strahan was named in September as Kelly Ripa’s permanent co-host aboard the morning show “Live with Kelly and Michael.” A former defensive star who spent 15 years in the NFL, he is also a host of “Fox NFL Sunday.”

He follows in the footsteps of Joe Namath, a quarterback nicknamed “Broadway Joe” who made an appearance on Broadway in 1983 as a replacement in a revival of “The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial.”

Strahan would not rule out a return to the stage. “I will take it off my bucket list, but if the opportunity came across again, I might just take it up and do it again,” he said. “I had a great time.” 

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

December 06, 2012

Associated Press

Costumes worn by Michael Jackson commanded hundreds of thousands of dollars at auction, and Lady Gaga was among the collectors.

Gaga tweeted Sunday that she bought 55 pieces in the sale administered by Julien's Auctions and said she plans to keep the items "archived and expertly cared for in the spirit and love of Michael Jackson, his bravery and fans worldwide."

Auctioneer Darren Julien said the jacket Jackson wore during his "Bad" tour fetched $240,000. Two of Jackson's crystal-encrusted gloves sold for more than $100,000 each, as did other jackets and performance costumes.

The auction featuring the collection of Jackson's longtime costume designers Dennis Tompkins and Michael Bush raised more than $5 million. Some proceeds benefited Guide Dogs of America and Nathan Adelson Hospice of Las Vegas.

 

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

December 06, 2012

Associated Press

Pop star Rihanna is getting into the TV business.

The 24-year-old singer will executive produce and star in the new series, “Styled to Rock,” for the Style network. Style Media made the announcement on December 5.

The 10-episode series, to air next year, will give 12 aspiring designers, chosen by Rihanna, an opportunity to style A-list stars. The weekly celeb guest will decide which designer did the best job. One contestant will be sent home, and those remaining will advance to the next week's challenge. At the end, one aspiring designer will be named the winner. Prizes are still being determined.

A casting search is under way on Style’s website.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

December 06, 2012

ARIES

You have more of a flair for communication this week than usual. Keep your words diplomatic but effective if your opinion is called for. A relative seeking advice will be glad they asked you. Soul Affirmation: I make the first step and the universe will come to my aid.

 

TAURUS

 Don’t sweat the small stuff this week. You have a keen eye for the big picture, and you’ll be most productive if you ignore the petty this week. Your home is very happy this week! Count your blessings!  Soul Affirmation: Cheerfully handling what comes at me is the test of who I am.

 

GEMINI

 Your energy level remains high; be careful not to overdo it but enjoy the wonderful feeling of your physical self as much as possible. A phone call from a friend who lives far away will brighten your week and inspire you with travel plans.   Soul Affirmation: Slow and easy is the best way for me to travel this week.

 

CANCER

 You can fly through the week if you keep your level of cooperation high. By this week’s end, you’ll have many plans, romantic and otherwise for the time period. Be patient at the workplace and things will go fine. Soul Affirmation: I take it easy on myself this week.

 

LEO

 You may feel as if you’ll never get everything done that’s asked of you, but stay steady and on course, take things one step at time, and you’ll be amazed at what you accomplish. Celebrate with a special friend.  Soul Affirmation: This week is a gift that I deserve.

 

VIRGO

 It’s a great week for catching up on chores and leftover tasks from last week. You’ll also have the opportunity to spend some time thinking about the direction you want your life to flow toward. Soul Affirmation: I face each day with a smile and the day smiles back at me.

 

LIBRA

 Communication vibes are highlighted, and you are in your element. Many ideas will be presented, and everyone will be very receptive and agreeable to what you say. Romantic interests are easily pursued this week. Smile on! Soul Affirmation: The slowness of my pace gives me time to refresh my energy.

 

SCORPIO

 Love and romance vibes are all around you this week! They will soothe your spirit and uncoil your tensions resulting from having too much work to do. Delegate some of the minor tasks so that you can do your best at the big stuff. Have a loving, lovely week. Soul Affirmation: New intuitions create new plans and a new cast of characters.

 

SAGITTARIUS

 Financial matters are highlighted during working hours. Everything to do with your money, or money under your care, goes smoothly. Another party invitation arrives. . . say YES! Soul Affirmation: I admit what I really want out of life this week.

 

CAPRICORN

 Happiness with partners remains the order of the week. Relations between partners are exceptionally harmonious right now. You are in sync with loved ones. Much is being accomplished by your attitude. Don’t overdo your physical workout. Soul Affirmation: I master fear by knowing that all is well.

 

AQUARIUS

 The time has come to forgive and forget. Take the first step in reconciling a friendship. You thought no one knew, but you may be romantically attracted to an old pal.  Soul Affirmation: Friendships are treasures I cherish.

 

PISCES

If you are finding it hard to concentrate on a project at work, begin imagining it successfully completed. Work steady and stay calm this week. This week is a good time for personal inventory.  Soul Affirmation: I will take time to enjoy the simple things in life.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

December 06, 2012

 

Associated Press

Add another book for possible holiday gifts: Oprah Winfrey's latest 2.0 selection.

Winfrey announced that she has chosen Ayana Mathis' debut novel, "The Twelve Tribes of Hattie," for her book club. Publisher Alfred A. Knopf moved up publication from early next year to this week, and an author interview will be aired Feb. 3 on the "Super Soul Sunday" program on Winfrey's OWN network.

"Twelve Tribes" is the story of a teenager's journey from Mississippi to Philadelphia in the 1920s and the large family she ends up raising.

"The opening pages of Ayana's debut took my breath away," Winfrey said in a statement. "I can't remember when I read anything that moved me in quite this way, besides the work of Toni Morrison."

Winfrey revived her club, now called Oprah's Book Club 2.0, this year with Cheryl Strayed's memoir "Wild." Winfrey's clout, along with her ratings, might have dropped from a decade ago, but she is still a major commercial force in the book world. Also published by Knopf, "Wild" has sold around 500,000 copies, most of that coming after Winfrey's announcement. Dozens of books over the past 20 years have become best-sellers, thanks to the talk-show host's endorsements.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

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